image of a family in a room with a humidifier

With winter comes both wonderful things and some notable inconveniences. In addition to cold temperatures and a few inches of snow, people also have to deal with dry indoor air. Even though dry air doesn’t seem like a very serious issue, it isn’t a harmless one either. A lot of people overlook the quality of their indoor air. They don’t recognize just how important this is to their overall comfort and health until they start experiencing dry air symptoms. In this article, we discuss the impact of dry air and the different ways in which it affects indoor air quality. We also share some practical ways to resolve this problem.

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Causes Of Dry Indoor Air During The Winter

Whenever dry air exists in an indoor environment, this means that there is very little water vapor present in the air, or possibly none at all. Water vapor is something that naturally exists within the air. The amount, however, depends upon how hot or cold the environment is. Cold air naturally incapable of holding moisture than warm air. This is why dry indoor air is more of a problem during the winter rather than summer.

The level of water vapor present in an environment is called the humidity level. Indoor humidity levels play a critical part in determining just how safe and comfortable the home is. Among some of the more common causes of dry indoor air are:

Insufficient Insulation Or Insulation Issues

When the balance of moisture is maintained in the indoor environment, indoor air quality standards are reasonably high. If there is not enough moisture inside the living environment, it may be that your home lacks an adequate amount of insulation. Your central heating system can reduce indoor humidity levels. So long as there is adequate moisture within the indoor air, it is possible to maintain this balance.

However, any gaps, cracks, or holes can result in dry air entering the building from the outside. The result will include lower levels of humidity indoors, and ultimately a range of uncomfortable symptoms that are commonly associated with dry air.

image of attic insulation measurement

Lost Humidity Isn’t Being Restored

Every time that you turn on a heating appliance, it lowers the humidity levels. This is also true of any cooling appliances that you are using in your home, like an air conditioning system. If nothing is replacing the moisture that is lost, the indoor air will invariably become dry.

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Health Effects Causes By Excessively Dry Air

Being exposed to dry indoor air for any significant time can result in health issues for both you and everyone else living in the home. Among some of the more common effects of dry air exposure are:

Respiratory Health Issues

When exposed to excessively dry air, the airways can constrict, which makes it hard for people to breathe correctly. This can be a huge issue for those with existing chronic respiratory health issues like asthma. Among the symptoms that a person might experience are chest tightness, short breath, and coughing.

image of a man with respiratory issues and inhaler

Dry Skin And Other Health Problems

Dry skin can result in troubles with flaking and feelings of itchiness. Air that has an incredibly low humidity level can even make the hair dry and brittle. Those who are already sick with seasonal flu could find that their symptoms are worse and that they additionally include itchy, dry eyes, and the chills.

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Damages To Wood Structures And Items Throughout The Home

If you have wooden features throughout your home, such as wooden doors or window frames, furniture, or hardwood flooring, dry air can cause these things to warp. The perfectly smooth surfaces become unattractive and marred. Cracking and drying can occur across many components, and the resulting deformities can make cabinets, closets, doors, and other features almost impossible to open or close.

Dry air can even damage the walls throughout the home as the paint starts to crack, and wallpaper or other coverings begin to peel. If you own paintings, paper sculptures, books, musical instruments, or any other like items, dry indoor air can damage these things as well.

 

How Homeowners Can Eliminate Dry Indoor Air

It is possible to fix dry indoor air as there are many things that you can do to establish and maintaining good indoor humidity levels.

Eliminate All Air Drafts

Find any areas that are allowing outdoor air into the building and seal these up properly. You can resolve any gaps, holes, and cracks with fillers, foam sealants, and putty. Use weatherstripping on all windows and doors to keep air from traveling in or out. You should also be sure to check the level of insulation in the building. Add more insulation to your home if this is necessary.

sealing window to prevent air drafts

 

Start Using A Whole-House Humidifier

In dry air conditions, the right humidifier can work wonders by adding essential moisture back into the air. There are a number of small-sized, spot humidifiers that are great for use in small spaces. To improve conditions throughout your whole home, however, you’ll want to think about having a whole-house humidifier installed. This will provide cost-efficient comfort in a far more effective fashion.

Get Your HVAC System Checked

To ensure that your HVAC system continues to work its best, you will want to have your home heating and cooling equipment regularly maintained. It is important to have this system checked annually by a qualified professional. A seasoned HVAC contractor can identify and resolve problems early on so that you don’t have to deal with discomfort or inconvenience. Making sure that your HVAC equipment is in optimum condition is also a great way to limit indoor pollution while keeping a home environment that’s safe for everyone’s overall health.

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Conclusion

You and your household don’t have to deal with the ravaging effects of poor indoor air quality, particularly during the colder months of winter. If you are currently dealing with dry air issues, the above-mentioned approaches can resolve them so that your home is totally winter-ready. Winter is the time for you to enjoy your property interior, and the best way to do this is by creating living conditions that are both safe and comfortable.

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Get Affordable Home Comfort Services By Calling Lawes Company

Lawes Company LogoLawes Company has a reputation for providing first-rate HVAC services throughout the region. Our team consists of the very best NATE-certified HVAC technicians who can handle all tune-ups, system replacements, installations, and repairs. Each of our technicians is capable of servicing your home heating and cooling equipment correctly.

If your HVAC system needs a replacement or repair, you can trust that you’re in excellent, reliable hands with Lawes Company. We can also find effective ways to improve your indoor air quality. Our HVAC service prices are the most competitive in all the area, and a solid guarantee always backs our work. As ever, we prioritize optimum indoor air quality, comfort, and energy efficiency. Call us now to get your free, in-home estimate.

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